This is the final ending of my favorite story. Here, I want to thank all those reviews who stuck with me through this whole thing.
I've got a few things to some speacial reviewers, and a little question for all of you. It's at the bottom.
Epilogue: Ten Years Later
Pacing nervously about the waiting room, muttering to himself and the others, T.K. was your classic nervous father, minus the cigarette. He hadn't sat down since the doctors had shooed him away from Kari's side and two and a half hours before.
"T.K., calm down!" Matt said for the twentieth time. It was interesting how many had come to sit and wait nervously in the waiting room. With them now were Ken and Yolei, who had married only half a year before, Matt and Sora, who were now engaged. Davis, Cody, Izzy, and Tai. Joe was on emergency duty somewhere else in the hospital, there'd been a fire earlier that evening, while Mimi was half-way across the globe at this moment, waiting for details. Gatomon and Patamon were not there either. They were at home at the moment, expecting a liter of their own any day now.
"How can I calm down?" T.K. asked, rounding his pace again. "They've been in there over two hours, how long is this gonna take?"
"Relax, bud." Davis told him, standing and gripping his friend by the shoulder. "You know they'll both make it out."
T.K. smiled. Not once since returning to their own time had either he or Kari ever forgotten their visitor from the future, not once. But he was still nervous. Kari had always been such a delicate, gentle creature, he had no idea how she'd take this.
He took a deep breath. "You're right." he sighed. "But still…how long?"
No sooner were those words out of his mouth than the door to the room opened. The whole group rose to their feet as a nurse stepped out. She was smiling gently. "Mama and baby are doing just fine." she said in a rather perky high-pitched voice. "It's an absolutely beautiful little girl."
T.K. stepped forward. "Can we…?" he left off, but the nurse knew what he meant. She stepped back from the door. T.K., grinning broadly, hurried inside, the others at his heels.
Kari sat up-right in the adjustable bed, a small bundle of soft pink cloth cradled in her arms. Her husband kissed her gently on the cheek. "How's my Kari-mama?" he cooed in her ear.
Kari smiled. 'Kari-mama' had always been T.K.'s sweet pet name for her, since they started dating, while she called him 'T.K.-papa' just like Carie had. T.K. also smiled as she kissed him back, then he gazed lovingly into the tiny bundle of cloth as the others gathered round to see.
A little girl was nestled inside, arms crossed in front of her, all clean and nice and warm, fast asleep. There was a tiny bit of peach-fuzz-like brown hair at the top of her new-born head.
"She's beautiful, you two." Yolei whispered in a breath. They were all afraid to wake the dear thing.
"Just like her mother." T.K. said, and kissed his wife again on the forehead.
There was a small click as a nurse came in, holding a clipboard. "Excuse me." she said politely. "I don't mean to interrupt, but there is the small problem of what to name her…"
Kari and T.K. locked eyes for a moment, then simultaneously said "Carie."
The nurse seamed surprised at their joint reaction. "Excuse me?" she asked.
"Carie." this time, only T.K. spoke. "Her name is Carie."
The nurse, still taken aback, wrote the name down on the birth certificate. "I see then… Carie Takaishai…" she muttered, then handed him the birth certificate.
T.K. grinned proudly and read it out loud. "Baby Girl. Name: Carie Takaishai. Born to Takeru and Kari Takaishai. April 18, 2014."
The nurse left. Her feet stirred up a bit of dust hanging in the room, making Davis sneeze. He tried to hold it in, but it fought its way out with an "Ah-choo!"
It wasn't very loud, he'd managed to contain it a bit, but it did wake the tiny girl in the bundle, who began to cry loudly. "Davis!" Tai snapped.
"I didn't mean too…" Davis muttered sheepishly.
Carie cried in a voice surprising of a newborn. "There there now." Kari soothed, rocking her back and forth gently. "It's okay."
After a few minutes of this, she clamed down, but she didn't go back to sleep. She looked around curiously, with those big blue eyes, at the many people gathered around, smiling at her. She locked eyes with one, a man with blonde hair, and seamed to recognize him instantly. She stretched her tiny arms for him, giggling and clearly asking to be held.
T.K. was amazed at his baby daughter's reaction to him. What was he supposed to do? Kari, sensing T.K.'s awkwardness, held the child out to him. "Go on." she urged. "Take her. Just be gentle."
T.K. took the bundle and cradled her in his arms. "Like this?" he asked.
Kari nodded. Carie was laughing and laughing, she just loved being held by her daddy. T.K., supporting the figure in one arm, tickled her under the chin. "Hi Carie." he whispered. "Hi there…" a wave of excitement flowed through him, along with the pride. He looked up and locked eyes with Kari. "I'm a daddy."
Kari smiled wider and nodded. T.K. talked to Carie a while longer, then gave her back to her mother. The others had their chance to coo and play with the little girl. Later, Joe entered. The fire disaster had calmed down, and he was able to give the new parents his congratulations. Around that time, Carie put her head against her mama's chest and fell asleep again, as most newborns do.
An hour and a half later, the nurse came back. "I'm sorry, sir." she said. "But visiting time is over. They need to rest now."
The group nodded and left slowly. T.K. remained by Kari's side, just for a moment. He gave her one last kiss. "I love you, Kari-mama." he whispered sweetly.
"I love you too, T.K.-papa." she whispered sleepily. After looking at his daughter just one more time, T.K. left the room, promising to be back the next morning.
Another nurse came, and tried to take Carie out of Kari's arms so the mother could rest. But Kari refused. "Just a little longer." she said. "Just a bit more time…"
Finally, the nurse gave in and left the two alone. Kari lay back against the adjusted bed, hold her precious daughter close.
She remembered so well the first time she'd met that little girl. The little brown-haired six year old, smiling up at a two bewildered teenagers. "Silly mommy." she'd chastised her, hugging her tightly. "You look like Picture-mommy. You must be mommy."
She remembered cuddling up with her in bed when she had a nightmare. How awkward T.K.'d been at suddenly becoming a father. Gatamon's sudden arrival. The kidnapping. Going to the future to save her. Defeating Daemon. And saying goodbye for the last time.
When she closed her eyes, she could still see the sweet little girl's face, smiling at her. She could feel her body, a bit larger than the one in her arms, cuddled up against her. She could hear her voice, light and happy, calling her…"Kari-mama…Kari-mama…"
Kari's eyes snapped open. Standing by her bed was a pretty young girl of 16. She had brown hair, messy like T.K.'s, and crystal blue eyes. She was wearing a short-sleeved white button-up shirt, and faded blue cut-off jean shorts. She was barefoot and smiling at her sheepishly.
Kari was taken aback. "C-Carie?" she gasped. "Is it really…?"
The girl smiled. "Well?" she said in perfect diction. "Am I everything you'd want in a daughter?"
Kari smiled. "Carie…You're beautiful." she sighed. "But what are you doing here? There's not more trouble, is there? Because if there is…"
But the teenager laughed. "No, no." she said. "I just…came back on my own." She sat on the edge of the bed. "It's my sixteenth birthday." she explained. "And I just wanted to see my Kari-mama again."
Kari smiled sleepily. The figure in the buddle yawned a wide yawn and snuggled up against her mama for warmth. Carie took in a small gasp and leaned forward to see the baby better. "Is that…?" she whispered. Kari nodded. "I don't believe it…" Carie whispered again. "It's me…"
"Here." Kari was whispering as well, trying not to wake the baby. She held the pink bundle out to the teenager. "Go on now…You can hold her."
"What?!" Carie gasped. "M-Me…?"
"Go on." Kari handed her the little girl. "Just be sure not to wake her."
Carie looked at the baby in her arms. A slightly reminiscing look passed over her face. "The hardships will soon start." she whispered, then looked up at Kari. "But we'll make it through…together, right?"
Kari smiled gently as she took the baby back. "Of course." she assured. "Together."
Carie smiled. There was a sound outside. The nurse was coming back to put the baby Carie to bed. "Guess I better go." the teenager whispered. She headed for the open window, sat on the sill, and swung one leg out.
"Carie?" Kari asked. She turned back. "How in the world did you get up here? This is the fourth floor…?!"
A strange head popped up. It was like a big, purple tiger with white wings. Kari nearly jumped a foot. "Who the…is that…?!"
"Not Gatamon." Carie grinned. "He's a champion named Mezaramon. I borrowed him from my little brother."
Kari nodded sleepily and put her head back against the pillow. But then she turned back. "Carie…Did you say 'brother'?"
The only answer she got was the wind blowing through the open window.
First of all, a few thanks to each of the following reviewers.
DracoTK – Muchos Grasias, Mi Amigo. Of course there is more?
Mrs. Videl Son – (in response both to the review and e-mail) Here ya go!
Moonfairy2000 – Glad I could help with your mood.
Hyper Shark – Chill! I got it out!
Akino Ame-Great to meet another Moonie! We gotta chat sometime.
Okay now, here's the question: I've got some chicken-scratch ideas for a sequel to this, concerning the boy I've named Hikaru, trying to help his sister from fading in and out of reality. Should I or shouldn't I? Tell me in the reviews, please!